India v Australia, 1st Test, Chennai, 2nd day

Tendulkar to the rescue, again

The Tendulkar on view today was neither the mad attacker of the 1990s nor the accumulator of the early 2000s, but someone in between

Sharda Ugra

February 23, 2013

Comments: 60 | Text size: A | A

Sachin Tendulkar walking out to bat with India 12 for 2, and déjà vu floods the mind. That India's opening batsmen are too fragile. That pure pace can destroy possibility, momentum and tempo, and change the course of Tests and series. That once again, hauling the Indian total to respectability was going to depend on a short, square fellow with his dark stare of purpose. The same dude who has been walking around on our TV screens since the time some of us used typewriters and telex machines. India 12 for 2 and Tendulkar up next. Good grief, has nothing changed?

Heaps has changed of course, but let's not get into that. The batsman walking out on Saturday, was neither the Tendulkar of the 1990s nor the Tendulkar of the first decade of the 21st century. Or Mr Hundred Hundreds, to be honest. This was Tendulkar at the tail end of a season where he averaged a nightmarish 19.44 and had kept getting bowled, including to bowlers called Boult and Monty. His eyesight and reflexes were under microscopes and breathalysers, his days in the international game were being counted down (mostly under the breath, okay) and his mortality as a cricketer was being freely discussed because he will turn forty in two months, and forty in most sports equals fossil.

Australia's fastest, burliest - surely not the most delicate? - bowler James Pattinson had knocked India's openers out of the park. M Vijay got a full-length screamer that shot off the ground, clipped an edge of his slowly descending bat and hit the stumps. Virender Sehwag defended nobly but the ball bounced up behind him and looped on to clip the leg bail.

Cheteshwar Pujara on batting with Tendulkar

  • "When Sachin Paaji came in to bat, from the first ball onwards, he was on the mark. He got three boundaries in the first over, he was looking positive and I thought I haven't seen him in such a kind of positive mindset. It was a pleasure watching him. But it was important for us to build a partnership. We were 12 for 2 and the partnership was really crucial to set a big total. During the partnership, he was talking about how the ball was going. When reverse swing started, we were communicating about which particular bowler, what kind of ball he was managing to get going - whether it was the inswinger or outswinger. So communication was really important when we were batting."
  • Q. Was this a radical departure from the way he batted against England?
  • "Not really - the way I have seen him bat in the nets. The way he was timing the ball was different, and I think I've seen him even in the England series in the nets and unfortunately he didn't get runs in the matches but the way he was batting in the nets, there was nothing wrong. He was timing the ball well. We had a camp in Bangalore and the way he was batting, it was a pleasure to watch."

Then the nearly-40-year old turned up. First ball from Pattinson, over 140kph, outside off stump. With what must be an extra nanosecond, Tendulkar takes a short precise step forward, his bat comes down quick and sharp, greets the ball with its sweet spot and pushes it through covers. Four. The next ball is sent slightly wider to the boundary, four again. The fourth and last ball of that over is turned around to fine leg. Strike three and he's in. Pattinson's third over is a bewilderment - he has taken Sehwag's wicket and been hit for three fours by Tendulkar.

India end the day 182 for 3, still 198 runs behind Australia, with the old guy batting on 71. His steady presence in two partnerships, with team-mates who were just over a year old when he made his Test debut, has given India a shot at turning the Test in their direction. Tendulkar and Cheteshwar Pujara put up 93 for the third wicket at an equal clip, before Pujara was bowled by Pattinson, having lost sight of an incutter that hit his middle stump. As the day drew to a close, Virat Kohli drove, flicked and flick-drove his way to 50, in an unbeaten 77-run partnership with Tendulkar for the fourth wicket.

Pattinson was strangely offered by Australia, not as an unrelenting fire-snorting pace dragon, but a plate of nouvelle cuisine only to be had in bite-sized portions. Tendulkar faced 10 balls from him out of 128 and Kohli seven in 84. They are not complaining.

After that early dressing down of Pattinson, Tendulkar settled into a more sedate pace of run scoring. He faced one over of sustained hostility from Mitchell Starc, and survived a ferocious leg before appeal off Nathan Lyon when on 37. It was a 50-50 call with Tendulkar on the full stretch forward, the ball hammering into his pad and no shot being offered. Two overs later, his quick single wasn't quite as quick as it needed to be, and had David Warner hit the stumps, he would have been run out. Michael Clarke's first ball leapt up from the rough outside leg and hit him on the glove.

But that was it. For the rest, Tendulkar was in his element, batting with surety and purpose. He clipped off singles, unfussed if deep fielders meant that his most well-timed strokes weren't rewarded with fours, his batsmanship in sync with the scoreboard. Pujara let it slip afterwards that he had not batted alongside a Tendulkar in "such a positive mindset." It is perhaps true because as Pujara flourished against New Zealand and England, Tendulkar had to endure his version of batting hell.

Explanations and analyses of his innings today include a slightly altered, compact stance with low backlift, particularly against Pattinson, the quickest of the bowlers. The straightness of his bat led to total certainty against a pace attack that fired it in full towards middle stump. That, and the precise, concise movement of his feet. A batsman's stage is, at its heart, his crease and Tendulkar covered his as if Chepauk was the Bolshoi theatre and he was the male lead in Swan Lake. He was neither the mad attacker of the 1990s nor the accumulator of the early 2000s, but someone in between.

India are 198 behind Australia, there are 18 days left in this series, Tendulkar is still 29 short of his first Test century in two years, since the Cape Town Test of January 2011. Who knows what will transpire between now and then? But if anything, this innings will brush off some recent rust and some gathering dust and show us once again, for as long as it is to be, the 24-karat competitor under his familiar blue helmet.

Sharda Ugra is senior editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (February 24, 2013, 21:39 GMT)

Part 3: I'm an Anti-theist and I see a lot of similarity between god and god's followers vs Statchin and his followers. We are told that god is great and he is responsible for all that is good that happens in your personal life. All shall praise the ever compassionate god for good things in your family! But things start going wrong in a family, lo and behold, we will be told that god's ways are mysterious or that evil spirits are responsible for these bad things. Replace evil spirits with bowlers and the scenario of good and bad with win and loss, you'll see what I'm trying to drive home. When will we Indians eve grow-out of this cult mentality and hero-worship? If India wins, it's due to Statchin. If India loses, it's the bowlers fault or somebody else's fault when it is clear that there is nothing like an 'enough' runs/over in an ODI, barring +3 standard deviation from the median exceptions. I hope Ugra publishes these 3 parts. (The End)

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (February 24, 2013, 21:39 GMT)

Part 2: Cricket, especially ODIs, doesn't operate with 'enough' numbers. How is 289 (5.78/over) enough and why not 5.76/over (287) or 5.8/over (290)? When do you or a Captain decide that a particular runs/over is enough? 5.74/5.54/5.78/5.8/6.12? When? Why? How? You try to squeeze the last drop. Isn't it? If that were not the case, then we would see Captain's declaring in ODIs once an 'enough' score is reached (once an enough runs/over). How many such declarations have we seen, thus far in ODIs? I'm not saying 289 is a poor score. But, it should be clear that Statchin was responsible for our score-line not reading 290 or some such higher number. Thanks to those 49 runs leading up to the century at a strike-rate of 65, we didn't have a number higher than 289. (TBC)

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (February 24, 2013, 21:38 GMT)

Part 1: @anuajm, don't put your words in my mouth. I told very clearly that I'm talking specifically about the freezing of Statchin in England (5 times VVS was asked to go ahead of Statchin, 5 times Dravid opened) and the 100th 100. The team did everything at its disposal to provide the most conducive conditions for him in England, India, Australia and India - in all the series. And then he comes and bites the team on the backside in Bangladesh in getting that infamous 100th 100 - 100 runs off 138 balls with first 51 off 63 balls (strike-rate of 81) and the next 49 off 75 balls (abysmal strike-rate of 65 to score those 49 runs to reach the century). He opened up in the 9 balls after the century scoring 14 runs off 9 balls making it 114 off 147 balls (that's nearly half of the team's share of deliveries). The rest of the team scored 175 off 153 balls. Why should you or I say 289 is enough but why not 288 or 290 or 287 or 291 or any such random number close to 289? Think again! (TBC)

Posted by anuajm on (February 24, 2013, 14:10 GMT)

Dravid_Gravitas: Tendulkar definitely took a bit of time to score his century, but the whole world had been baying on his blood putting unnecessary pressure on him to score the 100 including fans, media, probably sponsors and others.He might not have taken that pressure but ultimately he is human too. But that cannot be the reason for India to lose after scoring 289 against Bangladesh, think logically. India tied against England in the WC after scoring 360. Sachin's fault? India lost to SA after scoring 296 and being 260 for 1 at one stage. Sachin's fault? By your assessment, probably yes.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2013, 12:02 GMT)

@Dravid_Gravitas: Indian bowlers could not defend a total 289 against a team like bangladesh. But yea, you're right tendulkar's 100 is to be blamed for the nauseating performance of the bowling unit. India lost the match because he played a maiden over during his innings. Not because the bowling couldn't defend 289 runs against the whipping boys of cricket. i'm sure you're assessment of the match is perfect!

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (February 24, 2013, 11:00 GMT)

Thank you Ugra, for publishing my comments. To continue further, not once, not twice, on the English tour Dravid opened 5 times and VVS was sent 5 times at no.3 ahead of Statchin. We all know that Statchin was anyway pre-occupied by that 100th 100 and that his love for numbers will anyway make him freeze and fail. He himself said later on that he felt a huge weight taken off his chest after the century but he was lying all along to us that he doesn't think about it. So, why did we sacrifice VVS? Statchin should have been asked to come ahead of VVS or better still make him open so that VVS and Dravid would have had those lovely partnerships again. Some vinodgupte dude was asking me about Dravid's numbers vis-a-vis Statchin's numbers. It's very much possible that Dravid would have failed as opener in England too and his numbers may not have been impressive at the end. But the fact that he gets on with the business for the team whether his numbers suffer or not, makes him very dear to me.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (February 24, 2013, 5:08 GMT)

India paid dearly for that infamous 100th 100. He refusing to come ahead in England though we didn't have openers, though Dravid was fighting valiantly, carrying his bat through the inning and opening again within 10 minutes. Remember that Statchin was the same guy who cried hoarse when he was asked to come lower down the order in ODIs by Ganguly and Dravid. VVS, a predominantly back-foot player, getting sent ahead of Statchin in seaming and swinging full-length bowling in England, Statchin freezing in search of that century from England to India to Australia to India and finally making it by blatantly sacrificing the team's interest in Bangladesh and he continues on and on and on with those unapologetic parties, post the infamous 100th 100, and again gets bowled bowled and bowled to score pincodes in all the subsequent series. One half-century and we say, "Tendulkar to the rescue, again"? Sorry, that's not what you use 'again' for! Publish this, if there is respect for facts.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (February 24, 2013, 4:56 GMT)

"Tendulkar gets cleaned-up, again". How about that for a heading? ;-)

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (February 24, 2013, 4:52 GMT)

I hope Tendulkar scores a century. That will guarantee his selection for South Africa. Only after Steyn and company completely humiliate him will he come to his senses and announce his retirement.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2013, 4:31 GMT)

i don't understand the desperation of people to talk about tendulkar in the way they do. just because he's 39 and not 29 people talk as if he is the only thing wrong with indian test cricket. he might be 39 but he's still better than most of the options available in the country. rohit sharma, suresh raina, yuvraj singh; 2-3 extra kilometers of pace and all of them get out faster than maggi cooks!

Posted by anuajm on (February 24, 2013, 4:30 GMT)

@Beertjie: Tendulkar was the best batman on display against SA last time. Let's not assume, Tendulkar is one batsman who has done very well in difficult conditions of SA. A player should be chosen on merit, with the great career Sachin had, he gave himself some time more to come back in form. If he performs against Australia, he plays the next series unless he wants to retire himself. Regarding he being selfish, do you think he bothers? Do you think it matters to anyone if any armchair critic calls him selfish. So let's leave it up to him to decide when to retire. In the scope of realism, India needs Sachin more now in this phase of transition. And how do you define future? What is the guarantee that a younger player will be able to consistently deliver for 5 years? If Tendulkar can play for 2 years based on performance, that' s is the future we should look to and not worry about time beyond. Let form and fitness be the guide, if Tendulkar performs in this series, he stays, else not..

Posted by Rahul_78 on (February 24, 2013, 4:27 GMT)

Ohh thank my lucky stars that I had the privilege of watching Sachin uninterrupted from the comfort of my home yesterday. Within 3 strokes he literally changed the complexion of the innings. India were staring down the barrel and the master came to the rescue. The perfect recipe for the countless Indian fans. If this was a movie script it has making of a blockbuster if only the climax ends with winning runs coming of maestros bat.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2013, 3:50 GMT)

StraightHit - Let me tell you that there is some problem with your thinking. even if he scores 5 hundreds and the team wins then it is making India a better test team. The youngsters who are playing along sachin knows the importance. Stop talking like a jerk and a big cricket analyst. The board and the captain is there to decide what is best for the team.

Posted by xylo on (February 24, 2013, 3:39 GMT)

You might praise him to the skies, but from an Indian cricket fan (not Sachin fan)'s perspective, given his age and his value to the team in the long run, I would like to see a young talent (Rahane/Badrinath/Dhawan) fail and learn rather than Sachin succeed.

Posted by keecha on (February 24, 2013, 3:20 GMT)

I don't understand the idea of Sachin Bashing. For all we see and hear, there are at least 3 mention of his ability to have that extra bit of time to play the shots, which means his age is not affecting his performance. His change in guard from leg stump to middle was a smart move to counter the opponent's tactics of attacking the middle stump. I just feel, this man will move out by himself when he honestly feels he can't do it anymore. If he doesn't thinks so now, he probably has got more.

Posted by   on (February 24, 2013, 3:01 GMT)

The matter is very simple. SRT is still the best batsman in the team. So why all this hullabaloo? When he ceases to be the best drop him without any qualms. But for heaven sakes let him be.

Posted by D.Sharma on (February 24, 2013, 2:41 GMT)

Again? Ha! Good one! Judging by the reaction, you can see how much this means to Sachin fans as he has finally played a half-useful innings.

Posted by alarky on (February 24, 2013, 2:23 GMT)

"Tendulkar to the Rescue Again": This headline for this article is ridiculous. It has taken Tendulkar 14 test matches - 28 innings to score a 50 for India, in nearly 3 years. But during that time India has even won a few test matches without Tendulkar's "RESCUING" effort, AS USUAL; but nothing was said about his drain on the team DURING THOSE 14 TEST MATCHES. Now that he has made a "CONTROVERSIAL" fifty after such a long time, the hypocrites are making a headline out of it as if it's the greatest event that has ever happened in cricket. "Rescuec again"?. Tendulkar is not known to rescue India. That job was always done by Dravid and or Laxman. I still am asking the 64 Million dollar question: What is really going on with this excessive and unnecessary hype about Tendulkar scoring "a 50"?

Posted by realfan on (February 24, 2013, 2:11 GMT)

no matter what others bash....SACHIN is THE master.....no player can make TEST cricket so exciting in INDIA...next to tendulkar will be dravid.... cant even imagine what indian cricket will be with out tendulkar.....no shot in this innings from from was a poor shot, not even once he made mistake.....that was as clean as you can get.....

Posted by coloreal1 on (February 24, 2013, 2:07 GMT)

@Straighthit - I do wonder if you ever played professional sport or if you are professional making some contribution to the society. You will understand the gravity of your comments when you are making some contribution to the lowest denominator - say your gully cricket team..

Posted by wah_wah on (February 24, 2013, 1:51 GMT)

Dear Mr StraightHit, Not sure where you are from. Sachin's exit means more to India's opponents. We are still going through a build up, and as we see, our team of 2000-s is going to be hard to be replaced. That team had at least 8 cricketrs with whom we could associate more than 2 test matches which they made the difference between win and loss.And these 8 guys played for a long time together. Hard to find a parallel in Indian cricket. We are lucky that Sachin and Sehwag are carrying that legacy and let the new ones get into groove. The weakest link in that team is yet to be permanently replaced. Sachin, by being there around is good enough for the rebuild

Posted by nyc_missile on (February 24, 2013, 1:38 GMT)

I am neither a fan not a hater of Sachin.But this 71 coming after 30 inns averaging <30 doesn't mean anything except the fact that if you give those many chances to a younger player he might still have scraped through but surely would have been a future prospect by now.So all those going overboard just remember what happened in Oz after the 2nd test ?!

Posted by   on (February 24, 2013, 0:30 GMT)

Before i learnt the word 'cricket', i learnt about Sachin' when i was a toddler. The passion i have for cricket and to my beloved team is given to me by the so-called little master. I still do not understand how some people find reason to talk non-sense or hate this great man, who has done nothing other than what he loves and make us love the same sport..scoring runs and entertaining. I do not remember getting up so early to study but remember getting up like 4 am to to watch cricket. let the haters hate..still he is a true master and more than a legend.

Posted by indianpunter on (February 24, 2013, 0:27 GMT)

interesting to see Dravid_Gravitas drop his Statchin_selfishkar alter ego to comment here. There is no shame in eating your hat ( i am doing that, as i have been a sachin critic too), but you have been shown up, pal !

Posted by indianpunter on (February 24, 2013, 0:24 GMT)

I have been a critic of Tendulkar and his waning powers and prowess for sometime now. I am pleasantly surprised by the splendid rearguard he offered yesterday and hope he converts it into a biggie. I, though, feel that mental fatigue might be a factor against him playing long innings'. Regardless of all that might happen in the next 3 tests, i think he should call it quits at the end of the series.

Posted by   on (February 23, 2013, 23:33 GMT)

@Straighthit, I don't think you know what Test match is about, you probably want Tests to be played by T20 players with T20 mindset, but in Test most youngsters have faltered, in India team or other teams. Most of the guys performing these days are close to 30 or above 30. If Tendulkar is playing for himself then tell me what would the score would be today if Tendulkar wasn't playing and Gambhir was in his place. He has scored more runs than most of the batsmen in the Indian team in past year. Please read the stats than make assumptions.

Posted by inswing on (February 23, 2013, 22:50 GMT)

The best possible outcomes for India are in the following order. (1) Sachin playes well, scores a century, and retires after this series. (2) Does not play well and retires. (3) Plays well and does not retire. (4) Does not play well and does not retire. Given that he is playing well, looks like it will be either (1) or (3).

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (February 23, 2013, 22:40 GMT)

@Imsrk, I wouldn't resort to the immaturity of commenting on your age. I'll do that if and only if I have no good point to counter you. My comment reflects what all that has been happening for the past 2 years. So move on. Yes, the heading should have been Tendulkar to the rescue, at last.

@icknid, thank you for quoting me. I didn't say anything wrong here. I'm simply telling the obvious story of the last 2 years. I'm not seeing fault at everything he does. His personal life doesn't bother me one bit. You sure couldn't use the heading 'again' when a bloke failed time and again for the last 2 years. You have to use 'at last' there. I'm surprised that Ugra chose to exhibit such intellectual dishonesty by using the word 'again' instead of 'at last'.

Posted by miltonabdh on (February 23, 2013, 22:12 GMT)

Sachin never rescues India. He only does what he is supposed to do. You need a rescue act only when your best batsman departs not when he is on the crease. As long as Sachin is on the crease, you never feel India is in trouble. The master's presence in the crease simply holds you in awe; his departure transforms his teammates' innings into rescue acts.

Posted by   on (February 23, 2013, 21:31 GMT)

Should have been out LBW to Lyon so I guess Clarkes let off has been evened out. Good to see umpiring mistakes even out. Both players played remarkable innings so I'm happy to have been able to watch them both bat longer than maybe they should have. Hopefully Pattinson gets more of a bowl today

Posted by CricketCoachDB on (February 23, 2013, 21:27 GMT)

It WAS a radical departure from how he batted against England, as there was no Monty to spin him out!

Posted by icknid on (February 23, 2013, 21:22 GMT)

It's nice to listen to us so called armchair test cricketers to announce when or when ever players should retire. By definition we are so much better in make these judgements. That's why Michael Clarke made a judgement to only allow Pattinson three initial overs against Tendullkar - a player who is too old and past his sell by date to face 150 kph deliveries at age 39 and nearly 40. Listening to the Sky commentary today, a true great former captain of Australia (and one of my favorites) indicated the surprise he had in those who still doubt that Sachin deserves a place in the team. Whether or not he gets the ton, just judge him on a good innings. Maybe not his best innings, but in the context of being accused as an aged, burnt-out shell - well, just look at the faces of the Australian bowlers....tell me who looked dominant over him, and this is the true indicator.

Posted by CricketChat on (February 23, 2013, 21:01 GMT)

Sachin hasn't finished even finished one meaningful innings in ages, and his hiding fans who had nothing to cheer about all along have come out trumpeting. Even if SRT scores 5 more hundreds this year, it is all self serving, means nothing to the future of team. The sooner he becomes history, the better for Ind team future.

Posted by QingdaoXI on (February 23, 2013, 20:47 GMT)

Well played Mr. Sachin Tendulkar, hoping for you big daddy hundred tommorow and grand daddy day after tommorrow. Go Sachin Go. About Team composition for next match hand over debut to Ajinkya Rahane and Shikar Dhawan as a batsmen and in place of Bhajji bring in Jalaj Saxena another off-spin allrounder and hand him debut too and play Ojha in Place of Ishant Team for next test Dhawan, Rahane, Pujara, Tendulkar, Kohli, Jadeja, Saxena, MS Dhoni, Ashwin, B.Kumar, Ojha. So we will habe two off-spinners and two Left arm spinners and out of that 3 are allrounders so it will also strenghten our lower order batting and with Bhuvaneshwar kumar, who needs to give more chance in bowling as he is future of our Bowling attack with Umesh, Aaron, Shami and Awana.

Posted by Front-Foot-Lunge on (February 23, 2013, 20:42 GMT)

Good innings Sachin, he has such a strength of character that his technique isn't faltering even with age. England got the better of him the last two years, but this Australia are certainly no England. He seems well placed to negotiate the opening 20 mins tomorrow before moving on to a big score.

Posted by Beertjie on (February 23, 2013, 20:17 GMT)

Sad to see such lack of realism among some, @anuajm on (February 23, 2013, 19:33 GMT). For me,he should retire next month on 198 tests. That would answer those who call him selfish. But it would also be wise. In South Africa he will be ruthlessly exposed and face all the criticism he was subjected to until today. Surely, he himself can foresee this. Go out with your head held high, SRT! You have nothing more to prove, so pass on the torch to whoever wants it.

Posted by satchander on (February 23, 2013, 20:04 GMT)

Well..well..well...its been a long time since Tendulkar rescued India and I am glad the wait is over and hope that we never have to to wait for so long for another moment like this. I have been watching him since 1991 so am quite familiar with Tendulkar's rescue acts. Back those days we used to switch off our TV once Tendulkar got out since we knew there was no one else who could rescue Team India. But that perception started changing a bit in early 2000 and then the last 1.5 years we all know how bad Tendulkar has performed especially in Tests. So its good to seem him back to peforming these rescue acts and really hope its not a one-off event - he has to score big tomorrow and and in the rest of the series. Hope we see Tendular back to his best this year.

Posted by   on (February 23, 2013, 19:39 GMT)

@Selfishkar: how many tests did we win in the last '1 or 2' years? it just tells how much we depend on him

Posted by anuajm on (February 23, 2013, 19:33 GMT)

I think Sachin Tendulkar has received unfair criticism off late. He was the main reason for India winning the world cup with this consistency at the top. He played well in England though not at his usual standards but did not have a sound average to show off. He was the best Indian batsman in display against Australia in the first two test match but failed in the last two. Meanwhile centuries were not coming , but apart from Kohli and Dravid against England, Tendulkar was India's best batsman though not at his usual standards.He faltered against NZ and England owing to a combination of adventurism and exceptional bowling. Public pressure forced him. out of the ODI's where i have never seen him out of form. I don't see batsman who can replace him. I am hoping for a second wind to Tendulkar's career starting this series and i am sure he will play till the next series against Australia in Australia and have one last mojo there. Cheers to the greatest batsman the world his seen..

Posted by Nampally on (February 23, 2013, 19:32 GMT)

Great innings by the Legend Tendulkar. I hope he gets his century. The way he started with a flurry of 3 boundaries in 4 balls was to show that "Attack is the best form of Defence". That also sent a stern message to Pattinson. I had known SRT reaching his century with a six or a boundary. I am hoping he will bring back the old memories once more before the Legend exits from the Cricket scene. There is no place better than Chepauk where Sachin has averaged over 94 with 5 centuries to boot. Also it will be fitting tribute to very knowledgable & Cricket Savvy crowd.If SRT gets his ton & beyond, India stand a good chance of a first innings lead. The batting after this pair is not good against the pace bowling. Dhoni has no footwork to cope with pace unless he plays one of his ODI style innings & punishes the fast bowlers with helicopter shots. Ashwin & Jadeja can also bat. It is a fine batting wkt. & India must not squander away their wkts. Injury prone Pattinson may limp off on Day 3!

Posted by screamingeagle on (February 23, 2013, 19:01 GMT)

And the haters still go on like a broken record...But the master needs to go on a lot longer tomorrow.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (February 23, 2013, 18:28 GMT)

Haters gonna hate. He is still my child hood hero. The only disappointment in his career was his 100th hundred (when he put himself ahead of the team)

"He was neither the mad attacker of the 1990s nor the accumulator of the early 2000s, but someone in between"

Even if he is some one in between he is miles a head than the current crop who are too fragile in test cricket. Even in ODIs he was a dominating figure in 90s and early 2000s and played anchor role in later part of his career But the fact is he is still missed in ODIs.

That said can't wait for the likes of KiwiRocker, getsetgopk and other pak fans to rant

Posted by   on (February 23, 2013, 18:04 GMT)

i'm from new york and the start of play is 11:00 pm. i hope he doesn't disappoint me ....again. go get that hundred champ. make my saturday night.

Posted by   on (February 23, 2013, 18:03 GMT)

Oh wow - something positive from Sharda Ugra! The sun must have set in the east today!! But lets face it, the problem with oldies like Sachin is that at this stage of their career, they will score once in 10 innings or so (or even more). Let the new blood come in. We can't do worse than what we are doing now!

Posted by ajj_sin on (February 23, 2013, 18:01 GMT)

Have followed Sachin since he made his debut as a 16 year old. I was only 9 at that time and cricket for me from then has always been him. I have grown watching him play those effortless and sublime shots as if he had this computer installed in him that decoded a specific shot for every ball - No shuffling, smooth motion ,perfect balance ,perfect execution.Must confess that his recent failures made me watch even this innings from the corner of my eye when he came in, but those 2 shots made me sit back and relax with the realization he was back ! Other than him there are just a bunch of people left in this Indian team who play the game to impress the IPL guys. And with such commercialization of the game, I doubt there will be another Sachin that the world will see, and for that matter the era of the greats will end when Sachin and Kallis retire - or maybe even Steyn -leaving a huge void in cricket and making more of a circus than a piece of art watched by it's ardent lovers.

Posted by ANKITRCHANDAK on (February 23, 2013, 17:58 GMT)

In second inning Indian opener fails to make big scores ,they should give chance to Dhawan-Rahane .India come up with four specialist openers ....

Posted by icknid on (February 23, 2013, 17:31 GMT)

David_Gravitas, I follow cricket and comments made by followers of the great game. And as a fan of many other sports, I follow comments made by the respective followers of these as well. But, it never ceases to amaze me about the deep criticism some have of sporting greats - to this even the likes of Muhammad Ali was slaughtered for his style. Why can you not say that, while Tendulkar was going through a long lean spell, by his standards, that he is still good enough to play against some pretty good opposition. May be you see fault at everything he does - not very subjective, don't you think?

Posted by warneneverchuck on (February 23, 2013, 17:22 GMT)

@ dravid gravitas. I think u have started watching cricket since 1 or 2 years so only u have not seen Sachin rescuing india again and again

Posted by Selfishkar on (February 23, 2013, 17:09 GMT)

Again? Tendulkar has not played a match winning or match-saving innings for more than two years now.

Posted by JBSA on (February 23, 2013, 16:57 GMT)

I follow test matches regularly. But No other player can make the 1 billion people stay glued to their TV despite it being a test. Just the first ball boundary is enough for the whole nation to start seeing the match every ball sachin bats. When Sachin bats the nation heart best is at peak be it a boundary or a six or even single. If you have seen the chepauk, it rose every time not only when Sachin gathered a run but even when the ball was coming to him while fielding. Chepauk has a too thick relation with Sachin. If one innings can postpone his retirement for the foreseeable future, it can be this.

Come on Sachin. You scintillated us so far and its your time to enjoy your game. Enjoy it

Posted by supacricfan on (February 23, 2013, 16:50 GMT)

greatest batsman ever..period!!

Posted by RohanBhalerao on (February 23, 2013, 16:26 GMT)

Sharda Ugra, I love you from the bottom of my heart. You talked about dejavu, and it was as if I was waiting for this article to be read by me since the last five hours or so after the day ended. It's a pleasure, ma'am, to read your article!!!

Posted by kunal95308 on (February 23, 2013, 16:13 GMT)

rightly said... the superman as he must be called, is in rescue mission once again. With the likes of ganguly, dravid and VVS gone and sachin on a verge of following them, indian team is sure to witness a long strech of void which would be very difficult to fill.

Posted by   on (February 23, 2013, 16:13 GMT)

BRAVO!! He is GOD of India

Posted by Krooks on (February 23, 2013, 16:05 GMT)

Sehwag was bowled freakishly and Tendulkar came in, first ball 4 an effortless shot or was it second? I was disinterestedly watching the match till that point. Then came another caressed stroke and in an instant I became that teenager who jumped with joy when Tendlya was hitting warne all around Chennai in 98. The state of match be damned. Those two strokes of his made me sit through till tea, such is the magic of Sachin Tendulkar and a reminder of the great moments that he has given to each one us... What happens next ... ?

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (February 23, 2013, 16:05 GMT)

The heading should read: Tendulkar to the rescue, at last.

Posted by   on (February 23, 2013, 16:04 GMT)

Wow, well written and indeed a master piece. I have always loved Sachin and i will do it again and again, as long as i watch cricket. Salute you master. It is not for what you did today but for all that you have done for the country.

Posted by jay_vkjay on (February 23, 2013, 15:59 GMT)

''He was neither the mad attacker of the 1990s nor the accumulator of the early 2000s, but someone in between'' wow, well written article Sharda Ugra. Hope He stays long on day 3, atleast for 2 sessions,then match will be ours...waiting for play on day 3

Posted by   on (February 23, 2013, 15:56 GMT)

Just being there was enough for me!! Watching the master live in chepauk.... Not a thing has changed since i first saw him in early nineties... will be there for the morrow!!!!

Posted by warneneverchuck on (February 23, 2013, 15:43 GMT)

To say greatest batsman ever will be understatement

Comments have now been closed for this article

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